BILLINGS, MONT. – The Alaska Anchorage men’s and women’s cross country teams both qualified for the NCAA Championships at the NCAA West Regional Saturday.

The women won the team title with a score of 66, followed by Simon Fraser with 85 points and Chico State with 88 points. The region title was the fifth for the UAA women who won regional titles in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.  

The men’s team finished third with 116 points, behind winner Chico State with 39 points and runner-up Simon Fraser with 63 points.

“I was proud of our teams today,” said head coach Michael Friess. “It is good to know that we are going, and we don’t have to wait and see if we earned an at-large spot.”

The NCAA Championships will take place in Pittsburgh, Penn. Dec. 1.

Emmah Chelimo pulled away from teammate Nancy Jeptoo to claim the regional title in a time of 20:57 over the six-kilometer course. Jeptoo finished in a time of 21:08.

With the win, Chelimo becomes the sixth Seawolf woman to win a regional title.

UAA had two other women join Chelimo and Jeptoo as all-region selections. Zennah Jepchumba placed sixth (21:23) and Danielle McCormick was 11th (21:35).

Ruth Cvancara completed the scoring for the Seawolves finishing 46th (22:20).

Kimberly Coscia and Riley Burroughs finished 86th (22:58) and 135th (24:00).

“Emmah, Nancy and Zennah all raced how they have been training,” said Michael Friess. “Dani and Ruth both raced really well which allowed us to win the region.”

Felix Kemboi nearly pulled off the win in the men’s race but came up two seconds short finishing second in a time of 30:50 over the 10-kilometer course.

Wesley Kirui was the second finisher for the Seawolves placing fifth in 31:04.

Jorge Sanchez and Nickson Koech joined Kemboi and Kirui as all-region selections after finishing 19th (31:36) and 23rd (31:43).

Drew Johnson completed the scoring for UAA finishing 69th overall (32:43).

Kaleb Korta and Faisal Ibrahim finished 74th (32:49) and 94th (33:22).

“We went out strong today,” said head coach Michael Friess. “Felix nearly came away with his first region title, and we had four men earn all-region which was awesome.”